Compass could have a new chief executive in place by February, The Daily Telegraph reports. Sir Roy Gardner, chairman, is fast-forwarding the appointment. He has personally interviewed several candidates and he is believed to be confident an announcement can be made sooner than expected. Compass and its subsidiary, Eurest Support Services, is among “several” companies at the centre of US house of Representatives investigations into “impropriety and corruption” in the UN procurement department since March 2004. Meanwhile, The Times reports that Whitbread is expected to be among the first-round bidders for Select Service Partner by Monday’s deadline. Charterhouse, Macquarie Bank, Clayton, Dublier & Rice, Texas Pacific Group and Blackstone are also thought to be likely bidders for Compass’s travel concessions arm. Analysts say the likes of Upper Crust and Moto would fit well with Whitbread’s portfolio of brands. Financial Times 10/12/05 page 16 The Daily Telegraph 10/12/05 page 29, page 30 (Business Comment)